Lightning Round – Spring 2018 Week 2

Update (4/23): Forgot to do this but I updated the post to include Boku no Hero Academia and made a link to my Episode 40 post!

Please excuse the lateness of this post. I had a stressful and exhausting week as usual so when my vacation started this past weekend, I really wanted to just decompress. Anyway, this Lightning Round covers some of the shows (both new and….not as new) that I managed to see for the second week of Spring 2018 (April 8 to 14). I’m pretty sure that there’s a bunch of shows I missed so I’m going to have to correct that in the Loose Ends Lightning Round. Oh and in case anyone asks about Boku no Hero Academia….I haven’t seen the new episode yet. Again, I’ve been busy. I’m going to have fix that real soon.

Anyway…

Umamusume: Pretty Derby (Ep. 3)

Umamusume Pretty Derb Ep. 3

Going to bump this to Filler for now. Surprisingly, I’m liking Umamusume a fair amount. It’s far more earnest of a cash grab than it ought to be and the characters are likable enough to keep me interested. Also, I came to the realization that there’s something funny about how all the girls who are losing in a given race have to say that they’re losing out loud. I don’t get why they do it but just hearing it keeps cracking me up.

Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara (Ep. 13)

Shokugeki no Souma S3 Ep. 13-3

Read my Episode 13 post for more details! I want to make something perfectly clear: I still like Shokugeki no Souma; I just feel that San no Sara made one big step backwards by introducing a legitimate antagonist into the story. That said, the character development has been really good as of late; this episode in particular advances Souma and Erina’s relationship in a really satisfying direction.

Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katri no Nazotoki File (Ep. 1)

Katrielle Layton Ep. 1

I’m all for a Layton TV anime though I can’t help but feel that the great Hershel Layton himself got snubbed the spotlight in favor of his daughter because of some recency bias. How fitting then that Katrielle’s show begins with her getting pissed that clients were looking to hire her dad instead.

Apparently, this anime is 50 episodes long and considering how self-contained this premiere’s plot was, I imagine this will follow the mystery of the week structure to justify such a duration. That does make me feel less inclined to watch it every week. I’ll probably just watch it on occasion like I do with year-long shows like Super Sentai or Precure. I had fun watching this though, especially with Kana Hanazawa’s energetic performance as Katrielle.

Golden Kamuy (Ep. 1)

Golden Kamuy Ep. 2

Oh my God, that CGI bear is ugly.

Other than that, I thought Golden Kamuy looked really promising. Mind you, it’s not the most amazing premiere. There’s a lot of exposition which I imagine is due to the need to adapt as much material in a single cour as opposed to how the manga was presented. I get that it’s set-up but it got blunt to the point that it made the darker aspects of Golden Kamuy‘s story lack the weight it ought to convey.

There’s plenty to like in spite of that issue. By default, it’s nice to see an anime set in the Meiji period (right after the Russo-Japanese War in fact) and the inclusion of the Ainu people is a pretty bold yet potentially interesting risk for Golden Kamuy to take. And on a basic character level, Saichi and Asirpa’s relationship is off to a strong start. There’s a nice contrast between the two with Saichi willing to dirty his already blood-soaked hands so that he can not only get treasure but also help Asirpa avenge her people without violating her own stance against killing. It’s a really compelling bit of chemistry, one that I’m curious to see how it’ll evolve in upcoming episodes.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyroi (Ep. 1)

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori Ep. 1

I was honestly pretty bored with this one. I generally like slice of life anime, including the food porn ones, but I feel that Rokuhoudou is lacking something that makes it stand apart from the rest. There’s four guys cooking…that’s honestly it. Pass.

Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai (Ep. 2)

Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai Ep. 2

It was like 40 seconds in and already, Tada-kun had me rolling on the floor with Teresa’s Rainbow Shogun shrine. Goddamn it, I was not prepared for that.

Anyway, the second episode was really entertaining, especially since we’re now properly introduced to the entire main cast. I doubt this will be as funny as Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun though I’ll try to be a bit fair here since Tada-kun is an original property which means a lot more figuring out what kind of comedy best suits it. I had a fun time watching the photo competition though; those teenagers sure turn the simplest of picture taking into the most intense game ever.

There’s also been a few bits of foreshadowing lately. I have a feeling that Teresa is secretly royalty in some way and Hina is the gravure idol Mitsuyoshi is obssessed with.

Comic Girls (Ep. 2)

Comic Girls Ep. 2

Bumping this one to Filler. It seems enjoyable enough. Actually, one notable thing I do want to bring up is that Comic Girls is doing a surprisingly good job with portraying Kaos’s anxiety beyond the usual “she’s a shy moe girl!”. I originally didn’t think much about the criticisms thrown at Kaos’s manga but seeing her freeze up at school made me realize that it does explain why she apparently can’t write believable characters. She’s so anxious that she struggles in getting to know people in general. I’m surprised with this kind of attention to detail and I’d love it for Comic Girls to stick with that.

Last Period: Owarinaki Rasen no Monotagatari (Ep. 1)

Last Period Ep. 1

Eh, RPG-based humor is a dime a dozen these days. And don’t get me wrong, I did chuckle at some of the jokes Last Period throws out but I don’t feel inclined to see more. The character designs are nice at least. Another pass.

Hinamatsuri (Ep. 2)

Hinamatsuri Ep. 2

Okay, that was funny. I was laughing throughout the whole episode though where I really lost it was seeing Hina’s school friend, Hitomi, get grabbed into the former’s insane world and suddenly find herself a potential job as an underage bartender. Just describing it is putting a smile on my face. I doubt there’s a narrative in this show but if there’s going to be more weird shit like that, I’m all for it now.

Hisone to Maso-tan (Ep. 1)

Hisone to Maso-tan Ep. 1-3

Read my First Impressions post for more details! I did technically see this first at Anime Boston 2018 but I included it here anyway for reference. The show seems cutesy enough; it’s definitely weird with how they have their pilots riding on the dragons (the screencap above kind of gives it away). My biggest concern is the writing; it’s a little too blunt and expository for my liking.

Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii (Ep. 1)

Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii Ep. 1-3

Read my First Impressions post for more details! The fact that this is about otakus in their mid-20s had me curious and I’m happy to see that Wotakoi is off to a good start. This premiere had some really funny moments and I’m liking the chemistry between the two leads. Most interesting is that the couple has already hooked up so the show will most likely be more on how the relationship will evolve overtime. I might cover this show in more depth once my semester is over.

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (Ep. 2)

SAO Alternative Ep. 2

My opinions on Sword Art Online should perhaps be saved for another day but I want just to make it clear that I really don’t like the series and Alternative has done very little to change my mind. Even though there’s different creators attached to this one, this spin-off is just unable to escape the pitfalls of its parent story. The mechanics of Gun Gale Online make absolutely no sense be it how shooting works in that game or the fact that, apparently, you’re stuck with just one avatar that you can only keep in one game at a time. I can only think of two justifications to all of these: that this is the future and game designers got dumber or that the no one behind Sword Art Online has any idea how video games actually work and play.

I also just can’t buy into Llenn’s reason for picking up video games. She plays them on the offchance that she’ll be a loli….because she hates that she’s tall in real life…..that is just dumb on so many levels.

Oh well, at least it has 3Hz on the visual department.

Boku no Hero Academia (Season 3) (Ep. 40)

Boku no Hero Academia Ep. 40-3

Read my Episode 40 post for more details!

The third season of Boku no Hero has finally begun in earnest. Watching Class 1-A trek through the monster-filled forest was a blast and I have high hopes to see their training unfold. This episode also provides an interesting look at Deku’s perceptiveness as he meets a young boy who isn’t terribly fond of heroes.

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